tv Charlie Rose PBS July 25, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin tonight with a conversation about bruce springsteen with david remnick, the editor of the "new yorker" magazine. he's written a profile of springsteen called "we are alive." bruce springsteen at 62. >> he used to give these long, long concerts as a young, unhappy, confused fertile febrile performer, he was burning himself out. he was deliberately burning the excess gasoline out of him. now it's done out of a very different place, i think. and i've never seen a more joy-filled human being than bruce springsteen coming off of a stage in bars low that or wherever just five minutes after. >> rose: we conclude with christian marclay whose 24 hour video collage is called "clock."
>> there's no beginning and end. it starts when you enter the space and it stops when you leave. but you become part of this experience because your schedule your life the next meeting you have will have somehow influenced by or it will become part of this narrative. you become an actor in this film. >> rose: david remnick and christian marclay when we continue.
from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: bruce springsteen first picked up the guitar nearly 50 years ago. ever since, he has become one of the most beloved musicians in american culture. his poetic lyrics epitomize the daily strugs of a working class life. his legendary concerts continue to fill stadiums worldwide. over the years he has evolved far beyond his new jersey roots. much of his music is a statement against the growing gap between the american dream and reality. he and his e street band have been playing together for decades. they're currently on tour for the latest album "wrecking ball." here's a look at one of their recent performances. ♪ the evening skies the storms for which we die ♪ no dictator were climbing ♪ i woke on a quiet night, i never heard sound ♪ but the law was raided in the
dark and brought death to my hometown ♪ brought death to my hometown >> rose: dade remnick of the "new yorker" magazine followed him on tour. his profile the in this week's magazine. it is called "we are live: bruce springsteen at 62." i'm pleased to have david remnick at this table. >> can you believe he's 62? >> well, i do because i've known of him for that long. >> when i turn 27 i want to look like that. >> rose: the cover of thyme and "newsweek" the same week. when was that? >> 1975 when "born to run" came out. >> rose: that's 37 years ago.
>> yeah, it is. it is. and it was the first time a pop music person or any musical person was on simultaneously on thyme and "newsweek." not elvis, not the beatles, not bob dylan. you have to remember when born to run came out he had two albums that were out and didn't do anything. columbia was going to get rid of him if the third album didn't sell. >> rose: this is an extraordinary profile. it will tell you and help you understand this will make real who he is, what he is and where the music comes from and what it's about. how does this happen. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: it's true. how does that happen? >> it's the gift of the "new yorker" to be honest with you. it's the ability to have the space to do it and the time to do it even though my time is 99% taken up with editing the magazine. this is a lark for me. i have a writer right now in syria and people risking their
lives doing tough investigative work. following bruce springsteen up the i-95 corridor and to bars low that isn't exactly tough duty. >> rose: but it's a work of love. >> it is. i first saw him, as i write in the piece, by accident in 1973. i was 14 and for some reason, i don't know why, i went to see the band chicago, if anybody remembers what that is in madison square garden in the blue seats, up in the sky. and this opening act came on. nobody pays attention to an opening act in an arena concert not now; not then. the lights are still on, everybody's getting a beer and they're talking and this guy comes without his band called bruce springsteen and the e street band. not sure if they were the e street band yet. and he had something. he was kind of of electrifying. i didn't know these songs yet. i didn't know who he is. but he was terrific and within
18 months when "born to run" came out and a friend's older sister brought this record back from college and you know the way things get around. >> so you went in search of what question? >> well i did what you do with a profile which is relisten to everything, talk to everyone around him. he is not a secret unlike bob dylan who is a master of masks and enmig ma and keeping to himself and making a fetish of his elusiveness, at this point in his life bruce springsteen is-- who's been in analysis, by the way, for 30 years-- is a master of talking about himself so i think the timing was right. he's always been good at it. dave marsh's biography is good. a guy named peter carlon has a biography coming that's really interesting. so it was a question of doing
the work. finding a way to tell the story within the confines of a magazine piece. >> rose: has there been an evolution in the stories he tells? >> absolutely. the early springsteen records are of a kind of jersey romantic and love lost and gained out on the turnpike and tales of the difficulty between father and son which is a lot of the themes of early rock and roll and the music comes from soul and british invasion but fourp listen to the record that came out a couple months ago, "wrecking ball" these are adult concerns, political concerns, other albums have been about marriage, about divorce, about getting older. friends dying. these are not your concerns when you're 18, 19, 25. he's changed and pop music... in most arts you have a career
that's very limited. most artists-- even the great ones, really are themselves at their zenith far very short period of time and that's even more so in pop music. how many bands are together for 40 odd years and evolve at the same time? i love the rolling stones. i think the rolling stones are great but when you go to see them now when you get the chance, the gift of seeing them, they're playing their songs from the '70s and you're thrilled to hear them. they're their own cover band. >> rose: yeah. >> springsteen is an evolving artist, just as dylan is, just as phillip roth is. >> rose: naming your heroes, aren't you? >> mine and others. fs. >> rose: so when you look at him what made him? how did he become bruce springsteen. >> in some ways he was wounded into art. he grew up poor. there's no other way to describe it. he grew up in new jersey in an inland town, an industrial town. in a working class neighborhood
in freehold which is kind of deindustrialized. textile mill closes down, that kind of thing. and his father was the way you would describe in today's terms bipolar or manic-depressive and could hold a job from time to time. he was a prison guard, a bus river he had virs various jobs but he was really not fully functional as a father, as a man very withdrawn, very angry. the mother was a legal secretary in modest terms and held things together with bruce's the two sisters but it was a depressed household and i'm sure you knew kids like this in high school. they escape into an obsession. the obsession can be an unhealthy one-- drugs, booze, whatever-- he escaped into pop music. into rock and roll which was very young at the time. very new. >> rose: interesting. has never done drugs. >> never. and i have no reason to disbelief him. steve van zandt says no and
steve van zandt, another guitar player in the band has known him since he's 15. he said look, i don't know anybody other than bruce who hasn't done drugs. i think part of bruce's refusal to do drugs of any kind-- even pot or anything like that-- is that his father was such a mess and it risked repeating these patterns of... call what it it is. mental illness, depression. >> rose: in the end it's the same genius as bob dylan has, the capacity to be a poet. >> he invented himself, these people... this is a very american thing to do. we see it time and time again. mohammed ali completely invented himself out of thin air. bruce springsteen invents himself... >> rose: what do you mean? in other words, they take who they are and... >> >> they make that character. mohammed ali is a character as well as an athlete. the braggadocio, the antics, the
preening. >> rose: but that's different. that came from somebody who imagine what is a general ought to be and acts that way. >> sure, but the character of eisen howser different than the character of patton. >> rose: patton is who i'm thinking about. >> right. so bruce springsteen is deeply influenced by elvis, by dylan but also by black bands even though he comes to not have a black audience, to his frustration, but sam and dave, all those soul bands he loved. and he's influenced by a place. what makes him interesting early on is that he has a kind of geographical particularity. he has as bury park, that's the music scene. he's not new york, he's not filly, he's asbury park which was a very fertile musical ground a little bit behind both cities because of where it is but it has ferris wheels and geology. >> rose: he understood performance and the audience are
a part of it. >> and energy. some performers, like bob dylan, were... or miles davis, are so great and their image is so powerful they can literally turn their backs to the audience. >> rose: miles did it. >> miles did it, dylan does it. a number of them. and get away with it to such a degree that they're still either respected or loved or both. bruce springsteen was a front man, just like mick jagger, sam and dave, there are very few great front... chuck berry is a front man for a band. he is doing a lot of things. he's writing the songs, leading the band, literally arousing the audience like a preacher, he's playing guitar solos, singing at the top of his lungs. this is all happening in a performance that lasts twice as long as if not more than the average rock concert. >> rose: non-stop.
>> non-stop. three hours and a half is how long these concerts are going in europe at age 62. >> rose: many things come out of this book but that is one of them, what goes into a concert and tour and how they get up for it and practice and how he's kept his body in remarkable shape. >> it's disgusting. >> rose: taut as a tennis ball. >> 62 years old running around like this. he has the body fat of a ping-pong ball. it's horrible. >> rose: but another point. the command of language he has >> rose: and i'm sure it's evolved as well-- he's talking about clarence is no longer going to be there. >> clarence clemens. >> rose: he has the entire band he brings in but he's talking about clarence and he know he is has to speak to it. know he is has to speak to the audience about him. >> in emotional terms and show business terms. it would be like jerry lewis coming out without dean martin and not acknowledging it.
>> rose: why is he not here? >> we know he's not here, he died. what happens to him happens to us all but he needs to acknowledge it in terms of the fans history the e street band. there aren't too many acts that you follow for years and years and decades and decades. this is not just a kind of boomer thing. there are a lot of young people at these concerts and in europe it's dominated by young people for some reason. so when something happens to the band, a key component of it is missing, that changes the music. brian jones dies mick taylor leaves the rolling stones. the band changes but the stones aren't sentimental. you don't go to see the stones for... tears don't come to your eyes. >> rose: it's remarkable they got together. >> that's right. but they're playing in a different... their image and imagery and show business parameters are different than bruce springsteen.
bruce springsteen there's a goofy sentimental tough minded element to the stage act. he's jokey. >> rose: go back to clarence. he says to the audience, to the people there "people are not here" he says. >> rose: "somebody's missing but you here here." >> and if you're here, i'm here, they're here. and the music reaches a climax and you are made of stone if a tear doesn't come to your eye. he knows how to do this. he's a performer. he's great and the same way that aaron sorkin's dialogue, you may think it's manipulative but at the same time you've got a well in your throat. he knows what he's doing. look, i don't... i don't think... we're saying a lot of great things about bruce springsteen. i don't think he is a musical innovator.
i don't think he's the greatest guitar player who ever lived but all the pieces together in terms of performance of what he gives on stage is kind of without parallel. or pretty close to without parallel. >> but he has endured. >> rose: that's the hard thing. because he has evolved and because he pays attention to detail and because he is in charge. you make the point-- which i didn't know-- he did not... these are musicians who work... >> for him. this is not the beatles. >> he is the custodian of bruce springsteen. >> very much. so and he's very much in charge of his own creative self. he's not... there's no svengali behind him telling him what to do. he's a partner with john landau and john landau has fed him intellectually and been a good partner and friend for many,
many years. but springsteen is... what's interesting about him, charlie is i went back... part of doing the work which is, again, not hard work, looking at u.b.s. of his old interviews. being interviewed by local t.v. people in new york. when he was 25 years old he was a... you know, he was all enthusiasm and not that articulate let's put it that way. now you interview him disease you've had him here in this chair. i've talked to him. big rounded intelligent paragraphs come issuing forth. it's a stunning difference. he's a human being who allowed himself and forced himself to get an education, to read, to learn, to be open to experiences remember in so so there was a guy... in the model... in "the sopranos" there was the exexploited manager?
landau is the opposite. he came along in his life, understood him, was honest with him and pushed him. bruce want ised to splay all these small holes. landau has his eyes on the pot of gold and pushed him toward madison square garden. >> rose: give us a sense of where "born in the u.s.a." and what that meant for him in that experience? "born in the u.s.a." is the best selling album of the mid-'80s and certainly the best selling album for bruce springsteen. and it was full of hits. "dancing in the dark" "born in the u.s.a." "born in the u.s.a." itself, the song, was as bruce put it, the most misunderstooding song since louie lieuway. >> rose: (laughs) that's funny. >> that's the song george will went to hear and said springsteen is wonderful and ronald reagan picked up on that when he was just about to begin campaigning for his second term.
and he referred admiringly to bruce and springsteen was at first angry and confused and from the stage he kind of denounced that connection between him and reagan yet for some people persisted because of the imagery of that tour. the big flag behind him, the bandanna. the cutoff sleeves. he seemed like a politically versatile figure. he wasn't just a figure of protest on the left. he was also comfortable for the right and that persists to this day. who's his loud estefan in new jersey? chris christie. and they don't really like that. springsteen's circle does not... >> rose: on the other hand there is this: he was way out front for john kerry in 2004. he felt even better about barack obama in 2008 because barack
obama... >> rose: springsteen's own politics are very simple. >> rose: making that transition from the reagan revulsion to people adopting them to where he was in 2004 for kerry, 2008 it was he felt like that president obama represented a lot of the america he believed in. >> and his critique of obama now is the standard critique of obama from the left which is to say that he admires rescuing the auto industry. >> rose: killing osama bin laden. >> killing osama bin laden. he's disappointed there weren't enough voices on the left in economic policy that he's disappointed... >> rose: disappointed in... >> he wanted joe stieglitz and paul krugman and not... >> rose: larry summers. >> exactly. a standard... >> rose: so therefore in 2012 he has said you can't do this every term. >> i wouldn't be shocked if he did.
i wouldn't be shocked and you remember at the inauguration the musical highlight of that was him with a chorus and pete seeger singing the full version of "this land is your land" with the two last verses that are about as radical as the song can get. >> rose: he's been in therapy for 30 years. >> one more year he's going to get it right as woody allen used to say. is. >> rose: looking for what? >> well, i think that, you know... >> rose: back to his father or... >> your parents may pass away but the past is never past. i can't pretend to be in his head. >> rose: you try to get there? >> we try but it's journalism. there are limits to that and you have to acknowledge them. it's a pretty weird life, too,
remember. the degree of his privilege, to have a job where you go out on the stage and people literally are bearing you aloft and singing your name "brute!" i mean, jesus never had it so good. no religious figure ever did. then you go home. and your kids still laugh at you. it's a perd life. >> rose: somebody was talking about messianic. >> steve van zandt said is messianic the word you're looking? it may tell us something about life that even this unbelievable unbelievably lucky privileged, honored guy who's admired so widely and deeply and has a rich life, even he is not... he hasn't solved life. >> rose: little stevie said this. we... everybody was trying to be something, a doctor or dentist
or lawyer or something. it was us who failed at that. >> rose: they were the misfits. >> rose: we had no place to go. that's all we knew. >> he wasn't a quarter back in a football team or a merit scholar. bruce springsteen as a kid, his early bands, hid behind a big curtain of long hair and practiced and practiced. you know those kids in high school and most of them don't become rock stars. >> rose: how conversational is he with you. there's a lot of quotes here. but just in terms of being interestingly and amazingly introspective about who he is and understanding perhaps with the help of therapy all of the twists and turns and realities of his life. he is a tribune for the dispossessed and the middle-class and the working class yet at the same time...
>> at the same time he's on vacation in david geffen's boat and he lives on 400 acres in mid-central new jersey. he gets the joke. >> rose: he gets the joke. >> i think he gets it. >> rose: he's not woody guthrie and at the same time he's smart enough to know and understand-- and i think this is a word john landau used or you used-- wanted a family. >> he toll hrones magazine once that the two happiest days of his life is the day he picked up a guitar and the day he learned to put it down. and he, i think putting it down meant maybe tonight we stay home with the kids and we don't jam with... in asbury park at some club, we do something else. he's been married far quarter century. he has a three grown kids. last is going on to college. >> rose: one of them is a duke. >> and a near olympic
equestrian. and they seem like great kids it's a remarkable life. >> rose: which says something. >> it sure does. >> rose: so the gift he has... give me your definition of the gift he has most of all. >> i think as a songwriter and as a performer. i think as a songwriter i don't think that you can put him maybe at the very, very, very top with say, dylan or harold arlen but right below. and as a performer i think he there's with james brown. that's pretty good! >> rose: did he study james brown? >> you know it's a... really interesting charlie. he gave a speech in austin and he's talking about his moves and each performer, james brown had them. he talked about practicing them in front of the mirror. and not just at the age of 18 alone practicing them in front of the mirror. later on. and when i watched him rehearse you could see him practicing certain moves that would then
stay there the show. he's a showman! the myth of rock 'n' roll is that it's spontaneous and different every night. not true. >> rose: and he walks around the stage as he's preparing far tour and he looks at all the angles. >> rose: he wants to know that the people in the cheep seats are seeing him often enough so he's going around the back of the drum riser. >> rose: he did an interview with me in 1998 as you know. here he is sitting at this table talking about his relationship with his parents and knew impacted his music. >> i think you tend to write about things that you're trying to sort out. i think you're trying to write about things that you don't understand and you want to understand so you're working on something to help you understand what that was all about. who were you that's a big part of what writing does. a lot of... if that's where it comes out of that particular fire.
so i think those are the things that you carry. and that you are always trying to put in context and make sense of and i did a lot of it through my work but... my mother was very consistent and was somebody who had a relationship that was... i don't know it was easier to understand. it was nurturing and there was faith involved and support. that was something that i shied away from writing about. but i think writing about your mother and rock 'n' roll, easier to write about your dad and rock 'n' roll. it's angry, rebellion. it's about rebellion. it fits more in what kind of emotions that rock 'n' roll came
up out of. >> rose: you said what? >> this one song about the mother, it's very touching, it's called "the wish" and it's about exactly what bruce was talking about there that that nurturing sense of the mother who's still live. in fact, two or three of the concerts i saw in the course of... i hesitate to call it reporting this piece because it's such fun he brought her on stage to dance and she was a pretty commanding presence at the age of 7. he also said "there are so many songs about his father because he was trying to have a conversation with him that he couldn't have in life. so you would speak to him through those songs and even the songs reflect the change in the relationship which got better as the father got old. >> rose: help me understand this point about the songs in which he said or someone said to him it's... he may have said "i've said everything i have to say, i'm only talk about myself." and someone said you're talking
to them. tell me. >> rose: there's a song of dhash bruce had written in the '90s called "i ain't got you" and i got all kinds of great art on the wall and i've got the riches of heaven-- i can't remember the lyrics at the drop of a hat but i've got all these great things but i ain't got you. it's addressed to the beloved and he plays this song for steve van zandt and i'll strip the blue language out of it but steve ripped him apart. he said "we don't want to hear about you being rich. we don't want to hear about the great blessings of heaven that you have. people listen to you because they want to hear about their lives." i think steve was probably missing because of the irony of song which got recorded and went forward anyway. but he was making an argument that the song writer and the performer is enacting and getting inside of us every bit
as much as you were singing from within outward. in fact, if you look at hip-hop it's about "i got this i got that and i not go car." and for me a lot of that is boring as hell. i like a lot of hip-hop, but not that after all a while. >> rose: there's also this. what little stevie said to him that time was in fact what many people criticize most politicians about-- including the president and including the republican nominee-- they can't steam communicate it's about your lives and i understand that. do you agree? >> well obama's had this problem. for a lot of people. look, i think it's... i think it's a shame but clearly for some voters barack obama spoke to them more directly and emotionally and in a more effective way as a campaigner the first time around.
>> rose: but that was because of what he represented. he represented because... >> i think it's a big interpretation of who hoob was the first time around. it was this notion that somehow obama was somehow martin luther king... >> but the point is not what obama was, the point is what they believed he was and their view of what they wanted america to be >> again, i think it's tied to the drama of race in the '08 race. that clearly people were feeling to some extent good about themselves by voting for him and participateing in this very important... >> rose: i think it was more than race. i think it was youth. i think it was intelligence. in terms of perception. >> clearly. but now the rubber has to hit the road and people are out of work. >> rose: and they're saying did i have it wrong? is there buyers' remorse? but there is that awe then thys they people... we hope that leaders the same thing with
great novelists. they're going to write in a way that i think they're speaking directly to me. >> arguably-- and i hate to concede anything to politicians-- as hard as it is for an artist to achieve, it may be harder to do that as a politician in the current environment. >> rose: i agree that except it's the command of language. it's the command of... it's authenticity. i think it's harder but i think it's not to be... or is to be expected. >> yeah. the difference is i completely see your point. the only thing is bruce springsteen is not responsible for his song beyond the song whereas a politician can sing a terrific song and if the unemployment rate is 9%... >> rose: ah! if the unemployment rate is... >> there's no way to sing around it. >> rose: you're not trying to sing around it. you're saying "i understand what it means to be unemployed. i understand how those numbers are more than numbers for you." >> obama has not shown himself to be... to have the gift of
that at all times and by the way not to wander too far off, i found his public appearances in the wake of what happened in colorado disappointing because he doesn't have enough to say. the expression of sympathy completely unmoored from any desire to any anything politically and to have the courage to speak clearly about gun law,, about the
that really will get to me. i don't have a favorite song. he's too fertile. there's too much of it. if you ask me about a career that's much shorter, what's your favorite sam and dave i could do it. >> i understand. >> that was easy. >> rose: yes, indeed. well, you're up there. there's this wonderful thing where where he had landau come up and do a stage performance and then finally didn't call him up and so... >> so john landau gets called up to dance do "dancing in the dark" five or six nights in a row and finally bruce says you know that thing we we call you up on stage? i think we're going to put a rest to that now and landau says "does that mean i'm fireed?" and he says "yeah, i think it does." >> rose: what did you learn here that you did not know? >> i have to say a lot. a lot. because i've read a lot about him. probably too much than may be completely healthy the
disconnect between health and the femera of stardom, i've never seen it so blatantly. we read about in the coarse terms, so and so is a great movie star yet they're drinking themselves into oblivion. i'd never experienced it so vividly and touchingly what caught me about this is the sense of how deeply he is involved... not in terms of the details of planning a tour but how deeply involved he is. >> he writes so many more songs. a typical album that has a dozen songs will have had 60 songs in
the notebook or recorded in the studio. >> rose: there always comes a moment in someone who's writing a profile and they have to decide how to end the piece. "little while later having changed from his regular jeans to stage jeans springsteen walked with the band to a stadium tunnel and towards the stage. the last thing you saw before heading to the mic was a sign tapeed to the top step that read "bars low that." a few years ago at an arena show in auburn hills he kept greeting the crowd-- which is in michigan-- with shouts of hello ohio. final livan zandt pulled him aside and told him they were in michigan. springsteen glanced at the step and stepped into the spotlight. hola bars low that he cried out to a sea of 45,000 people. why did you end it with this? >> because it gets you to put him on the stage again in terms of the dram you are the ji of the profile.
it puts your guy out into the light but it has him with a human saying making sure he doesn't forget where he is you reach a certain age and you don't know where your keys are and you can't remember your person's name at the dinner. springsteen has taken steps to ensure he doesn't do that. >> rose: and he uses teleprompters as many performers do. >> after that show i stayed... usually i was to the side or in the stands. landau brought me on to the stage for the end of one of these bars low that shows and i have never seen anybody come off of a basketball court or anything more drenched. he was sweatier and more spent than lebron james. >> rose: that is his salvation, i believe. >> you you bet. and he was happy, lit up. >> rose: he believe he owes them that. if he doesn't give them that he's not satisfied >> and it's changed.
when he used to give these long, long concerts as a young, unhappy, confused, fertile febrile performer he was burning himself out. he was deliberately burning the excess gasoline out of him. now it's done out of a very different place, i think. and i'm never seen a more joy-filled human being than bruce springsteen coming off of a stage in barcelona just five minutes after. >> rose: and i say to you why not? the title of this piece "we are alive: bruce springsteen at 62." david remnick. an extraordinary story and if you care about is culture and music and if you care about the artist at the center of it all this is an inside look at one of our t most interesting people in pop culture today if not the most interesting person out there on a yearly basis. it is the live performance which
defines him today. thank you. >> thanks a lot, charlie. >> back in a moment, stay with us. >> rose: christian marclay is here. his work over the past three decades has explored the intersection between sound and image. his tour deforce is a 24-hour video collage called "clock." it's become a global phenomenon after debuting in 2010. constructed from thousands of fragments culld from the entire cinematic archive, "the clock" unfolds in perfect realtime. writing in the "new yorker," marclay was called "the most exciting chrojist since robert rauchenberg." it's on view at the david rubinstein atrium until august 1. i'm pleased to have him here at the table. welcome. >> thank you for having me. >> tell me about your evolution as an artist that got you to this idea? >> well soon after coming out of art school where i was trained
as a visual artist this was just the beginning of a video. quickly i got interested in performance art and i abandoned making objects for live performance and a particular mixing words on multiple turntables. sort of like a d.j. but not quite. >> rose: which has become a big thing. some say d.j.s are the new rock stars. >> they were, yeah. they still are and that idea of mixing different sounds that are unrelated that are ready made and finding the right connection between these very disparate sounds is sort of what have is my training towards editing video and making this piece called "the clock." but i did a lot of other works
in between it came out of this that interest for sound and sound does play an important role in this video. it's the glue that keeps everything together in a way through sound i can create this idea of false continuity finding links between different fragments of film. so i would say that, you know, i'm a visual artist but i made a lot of music and performed a lot over the years. >> rose: you've been a movie fan all of your life, i assume. >> not really. that's what people assume. they assume i know perfectly well the history of cinema but i don't. >> rose: you're not a student of film. >> >> i learn how to edit just making it. it's very accessible now with all these editing softwares that
anybody on a computer... and everybody does now. everybody's an editor. >> rose: tell me what the idea is. >> well, it's an ongoing loop. 24 hours. it's synced with realtime so when it's 2:00 in this video in this movie it's 2:00 on your watch. so it's made out of... as you described it... >> rose: so it's a 24-hour loop? >> yeah. so there's no beginning, no end. it starts when you enter the space and it stops when you leave it. but you become part of this experience because your schedule... your life, the next meeting you have will be somehow influenced by or it will become part of this narrative. you become an actor in the way
in this film. it's a weird thing. you know exactly when you entered a space. people tell me oh i was there from 3:54 until 6:30. and they'll tell you exactly how much time to spend there. but you're constantly reminded of the time you managed somehow to lose yourself in it at the same time. >> rose: explain to me what this slide is. >> the difference with this presentation is it's not like a movie theater. a movie theater is an architecture where we all enter together and leave together but here people come and go to so i've installed these couches allowed enough space around them so you can move in and out and not disturb a whole row when you're getting up so people have
spent 24 hours there. they told me... they tell me but i don't believe it. >> you don't believe anybody... so suppose you walk in at 7:04 p.m. what will you see? >> 7:04, people are starting to get home after work. a lot of people are getting ready for dinner. there's a lot of cooking. this footage that i found dictated the content of the video but within each minute of the day i had to the sync these clocks and of course some of the real life starts appearing. not only clocks or mention of the time in the dialogue or there's a lot of people waiting... it's very much unlike
a film where there's always... you know, you tend to lose track of time. here you're constantly reminded of what time it is. but... so, yeah, i'd say around 7:00 there's a lot of cooking and people catching a train but it's also cinema. so there's a lot of extraordinary things happening that don't happen in real life. >> rose: it took you three years to do this? >> yeah. and the first year was very much a test. i didn't know for the first greer this was possible. i had this idea i was working on a different project, i needed clocks so... to indicate this notion of time passing. it's actually a video score so the musicians watch a clock and they're told they'll know when the five minutes are done.
and then i thought, oh, what if? what if i found every minute of the day in the history of cinema. which i did. and i... >> rose: every minute of the day in the history of cinema. meaning you could take the history of cinema and find something that signified every minute of the day? >> yes, or the actual reference to the minute of the day. >> rose: there's a clock at 11:30. >> that happens to be 11:30 in the morning. you can't cheat. people say "it could be 11:30 at night." but there's always a quality about the footage, the context, narrative that will determine what time of day it is. >> what's the art here that's the hardest to do? is it just the creation of the idea or is it the execution of the idea? is it making sure that you have so well cataloged and canvassed visual imagery that you have it?
>> it's all in the editing, i would say. it's all in the... the idea was simple. and thank god at least i had a structure. >> rose: did you know... you did not know in the beginning for a year whether it would work or not. >> yeah, it's simple but you have to find out if it's possible. it required a lot of research. ied that help of assistants who had the wonderful job of watching movies all day and they would bring me these elements and i would construct it, creating these 24 hour one-hour timeline which is were constantly being ed edited. reedited because someone would bring me a better clip. >> rose: is the clock about time or something else? the clock being the title of your exhibition. it is very much a meditation on time and that it is also a film about film.
it is very much looking at this idea of time in film and what... time is an artificial construct. in cinema it is very much so. it is an artificial time that we're supposedly following because maybe there's a heist or something terrible is going to happen at midnight and then there's this counterdown and it keeps people on the edge of their seat. it's interesting that looking at all these different types of clock throughout this video you realize that all these devices that we've invented to mark time and now, yeah, now... people don't carry wristwatches as much because they all have a phone. >> rose: do you carry a wristwatch? >> i do, i'm very old-fashioned.
>> rose: what brought you to the attention of the great paula cooper? >> well, you should ask her that. >> rose: (laughs) she should be on charlie rose. she's the greatest. >> i always thought she was... >> rose: she'd be most responsive? >> i worked with her since '69 96 and i always thought this is the gallery i want to work with because of all the artists she's been exhibiting she's always had an incredible program. >> rose: the thing about her it seems to me it's literally the idea of there are new streams going into the river all the time. she's constantly reimagining her role. >> she's always taking on young artists. >> rose: are you deep into something else or are you simply
allowing it to bloom? >> rose: no, i'm on to other things already. i sat at the computer for three years, which is not a very healthy activity and i'm not too keen to start a project like that. >> rose: can you take off a year? no, i'm always working on something. i've been babysiting this clock for a while now since it was first shown in london in october of 2010. but i'm on to doing things that are more immediate and actually a lot of live music. >> rose: you're one part musician, aren't you? >> yes. and it's a very different type of activity because you get an immediate response from an audience. you do it live and the kind of music i do is very improvised so
it happens the moment it's made. and that's quite different from making a project that takes two years to put together. >> rose: daniel zell lieu ski the new yorker in march 12 said his experience as a turntablist is essential to the clock. it has impeccable timing flowing from frenetteic to stately with some clips stretching past a minute. >> rose: it really comes out of my training somehow with music. i mean, i think this kind of... i love putting things together that don't belong together. and finding a way to bridge them and find a way to make a connection and when you get that kind of sync between different elements it's like magic. >> rose: is there a definition of that moment? >> of that moment?
well, maybe it is. >> rose: that's the feeling. >> and just the feeling that you've... you know people will read into that connection and this sense of make belief that it... these things are always meant to be together and they become one. >> rose: the clock opened at lincoln center and will close on august 1. thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time.